Today we welcome to the show Don Orlando from the McLean Group. Don is one of America’s senior and most widely respected career coaches.
At the McLean Group, Don works with military and civilian rising, senior, or very senior professionals, to help them win the career they’ve always deserved, get paid what they are worth, and, of course, have some fun along the way.
Don understands his services impact the lives of not only the job seekers but their families as well.
He offers no standard “packages” to his clients, instead, he focuses on delivering an individually tailored and comprehensive solid plan for each of his clients.
Don also happens to be a LinkedIn expert which is what we are going spend most of our time talking about today.
Don, it is my pleasure to Welcome to the brand new you show.
WHAT IS LINKEDIN
Don has worked with LinkedIn since its inception and to say he knows LinkedIn would be a tremendous understatement.
On the podcast, Don shares his LinkedIn expertise as he explains the ins and outs of the platform including a few of the “secrets” most people don’t know about.
The first secret Don lets us in on is the real purpose of LinkedIn which is supposed to be a way for professionals to reach out to each other for mutual benefit.
In other words, the real purpose and the value of LinkedIn is as a professional networking platform.
HOW TO USE LINKEDIN FOR NETWORKING
The best way to use LinkedIn for networking is to make use of the groups function.
Don suggests before joining a group, take a look at the group first. Visit the group, understand how active it is, how long it’s been around, etc.
Non-active groups are not worth your time.
To find groups related to your career field use the search function and enter keywords associated with your industry.
Once you join, ask the group owner how you can add value and help make the group a success.
Before posting the first time, take the time to learn the ground rules for the group then jump in and contribute in a meaningful way.
HOW DO YOU COMPLETE A PROFILE ON LINKEDIN
Don and I spend the majority of our chat discussing the profile. We walk through each section and discuss how to properly complete each one starting with your name.
1 – Choose your name
This may seem easy but for those of you have the same or similar name as someone else it could be a little more tricky. Don’s first piece of advice is to use the name others will use to search for you.
Why? Because you don’t want to be confused with someone else who shares your name and who may not align with your career aspirations.
If you do find someone else with your name Don provides some suggestions on what to do.
Since there are other Don Orlando's in the world here are some examples Don provides using his own name.
Don Orlando, DP Orlando, Don P Orlando, Don Phillip Orlando.
1a – Before you make a final selection Don strongly recommends you Google your name (sounds familiar eh?).
Don talk about a client with an excellent background who came to him because she was not having any luck getting call backs.
The first thing they did was a search for her name on Google. They discovered the first four returns were for someone with her same name who had been convicted of 1st-degree murder. Ouch!
Once you’ve selected a name to use on your LinkedIn profile use it on everything, your job search documents, your email address, etc. This will help people who want to find you, find you.
2 – Type of image to use
You need to use a professional looking headshot in your profile. It’s as simple as that.
Don discusses his surprise at the image used by a couple of people who recently viewed his profile. You won’t believe it if I tell you. You’ll have to listen.
3 – Contact information
If you want to be contacted by people using LinkedIn make sure to include your contact information. Don even suggests adding your phone number.
4 – Headline (Abbreviated brand statement)
The headline is the first line below your name. Many simply use their current job title because this is the default. Don explains why this is unfortunate and how you can use your headline to help you get found.
The headline is limited to 120 characters so you’ll need to be precise in what you write. The best headlines quickly show how you add value.
Writing this can be hard. To get past this Don suggests writing your summary first.
Don’s Secret – Make use of your background picture. This is the picture at the top of your profile. This can be anything want which means you can add a picture with text.
The text, of course, must add or reinforce to your brand statement or expand on your headline in some meaningful expression of value.
I think Kylie Chown does an excellent job with using her background strategically.
5 – Summary (Brand statement)
Don refers to the summary section as your brand statement. It should convey to others your value. This is not a summary of your career per say it’s really a summary of your brand statement.
Don recommends using an offline tool like Word or Pages to draft your summary.
To get started write it out long form and include all of the gory details. Then go back re-read and edit it to pair it down.
As you write your summary, think in terms of the value employers or clients will pay for. Your summary should be completely focused on the value you add.
In the summary do not use language such as “I’m a hard-working, self-starting people person, with great communication skills.”
These are basic requirements for any job. This does not differentiate you.
Once you have your brand statement clearly articulating your unique promise of value, go back through the summary reduce it to 120 characters without losing the meaning.
6 – Experience
This is another section people get wrong. Many people look at LinkedIn as a resume which is a document highlighting your work history.
Don said because of this most people’s profiles really look more like an obituary than a promise of value.
Because it’s written in the past it does nothing to help him decipher potential. This is the benefit of a platform like LinkedIn you can use it to highlight your personality as well as your experiences.
Take the time to completely fill out the experience section. Don’t just put your job title, company and dates you worked there.
Use the experience section to highlight what you can and how you do it. Don’t just list out what you did.
Don likes to see what you learned in each position to support your brand. He suggests telling a short story to provides clear and compelling proof you can support your brand.
After all, you are hired as a problem solver. Tell potential employers what problems you solved, how you solved them, and what the results were in the end.
Don recommends adding media such as videos to your profile as long as you are keeping the media centered on your value/brand.
7 – Keywords
I’ve discussed the importance of keywords HERE before. Don and discussed the importance of keywords in search within LinkedIn.
You need to know the language of the recruiters and employers who are looking to find you. Take the time to determine the keywords in your career field and add them generously to your profile.
Remember keywords are not traits, credentials or responsibilities but they boosting profits, generating revenue, and cutting costs.
Learn your career field language and use the keywords to differentiate yourself.
8 – Volunteer section
Don agrees the volunteer section can add value as long as you don’t confuse them with Facebook.
What he means by this is simple. LinkedIn is a professional network. Keep it professional and related to your career. You may like pictures of kittens but they don’t belong on LinkedIn.
As an example, I was the president of the local education foundation. I include it because of the skills required to run a business is in line with the value I add.
9 – Skills
This is not one of Don’s favorite sections because anybody can endorse you for a skill whether they know you or not.
The value in the skills section, however, is for the keywords.
The skills listed help bring value because of the search traffic it can bring.
10 – Military
Don and I take the time to discuss how folks in the military can use LinkedIn to help them with their job search. You may remember my conversation with Tommy Stoner.
Like everyone else for LinkedIn to be effective for Military personal remember your career campaign needs a laser-like focus.
While you may be used to being promoted based on leadership, Don reminds there is no career field called leadership. This means you need to focus on the career field and developing your personal brand.
The following methods are the best way to reach Don.
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donorlandocareercoach
Don leaves us with these final thoughts.
“It is very important that you find the career field that is right for you. When you do, you will find rewards not normally available to most people who stumble into jobs.”